If you've never attended the boutique music festival held at Doe Bay Resort over on Orcas Island, then your best bet to have the same experience with a lot less hassle (no ferry ride, less expense and much closer to your own back yard) is Timber! Outdoor Music Festival.
This may have been Timber!'s inaugural year, but it sure didn't seem like it. Even as one of the volunteers, I felt like the entire event had the experience of at least a few years running considering the great music, food and general contentedness of the festival goers. There were some snags, like distance some campers had to travel to get to the main stage or the occasional difficulty to find water or a toilet (depending on where you were when the need arose) but even then it was just more difficult, not impossible.
The founders of Artist Home pride themselves on making each festival they run a unique experience and bend over backwards to make sure you have a good time. It's the care, concern and generosity with which they run these festivals (Slackfest, Doe Bay Fest and Timber!) that emanates throughout the weekend. That pride and generosity is what allows them to bring in such high quality musicians; those artists see what is being cultivated and want to be a part of it, sometimes at a substantial pay cut from other festivals they could have agreed to. So, basically what I'm saying is, you should make a point to check out one of the three incredible festival experiences that Artist Home provides us throughout the summer or you're missing out.
One of the many musical highlights was seeing Bryan John Appleby again. His voice is clear, strong and beautiful but it's the lyrics, the songs themselves, that cut straight to my heart with their vivid storytelling pulling me in. I kid you not, every time I hear the song "Honey Jars" I shed at least one tear if not many.
Another highlight was the very first act on Friday at the Campfire Stage. He is now a Portland-based musician but I first discovered Ten-Speed Music at the "legendary" Conor Byrne Open Mic a couple years ago. His voice cut through the loud throngs of drinkers that Sunday night to catch our ears even in the back of the room. He may seem modest and quiet, but the moment he starts to sing that melts away and you are caught up in the moment not realizing you're entranced until it's over.
Then, of course, there are all the usual suspects that I gush about on the daily: Fruit Bats really brought it this time even getting the founders of Artist Home kicking their heels up, Lemolo floored the audience, fans and newcommers alike, Kithkin had 90% of the crowd on their feet clapping, dancing and drumming whatever was nearby and The Helio Sequence ended the mainstage music on Saturday with an extended and beautifully performed set. I really couldn't have asked for more. Here are several moments from the weekend, but also be sure to check out the whole set.
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